Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lovely Dreary Drizzle

Energy levels still a little low, but inside I feel wonderful. I am visualizing my insides healing from the years of red wine - the stains on my guts fading. I am anxious to shrink, though, and return to the size and shape I see myself in my head.

I need to move my body more, which will happen as my energy level increases, recharges. Mornings are wonderful, because I don't suffer the fogginess of an evening bottle of wine. I don't feel the brain-thickness. My mind pops on, like a light.

Sleep is improving, although last night was restless. It was humid, I was hot then cold. Menopause has switched back on with more hot flushes, at least I think it is menopause, could be late onset alcohol withdrawal, since the exhaustion came on late as well. I suspect menopause, which isn't that bad.

Today is a lovely dreary day, some rain expected and the wind is blowing through the trees. My favourite kind of early Autumn day.

Today is my day off. Already 2 calls from the office, but things will settle now. Passport photo apt at 10am, a pile of books to return to the library and Pottery at 1pm. The day will be finished with a Community Garden meeting at 5:30, then - a quiet evening with crock pot soup, which I will assemble now...

Lois Day is always a good day.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Feelings of Selfishness

I am allowing selfishness. I am allowing myself to keep triggers at a distance.

Friend Heather called today, she has been very quiet all summer. She and her partner are not presently working, they have not worked since they came back from Costa Rica a year ago. They spent the majority of the summer at her partner's family cottage in Muskoka. The fact that they could set aside anxiety about no income for a year, and spend the summer up north drives me insane. My problem. I am owning it. Why should I care?

It annoys me because my parents drilled into me that any job is better than no job. Thank you post-Depression Era survivors, for giving me my work ethic. No work makes me crazy anyway, when I've been unemployed, I underachieve.

So Geoff is off to a conference in New Orleans [finally networking], and Heather is alone for a week - so she called me to see what I'm up to.

I'm working. Go figure.

I work a 4 day work week, and arranged to have Thursdays off to take an afternoon Pottery class. And I really don't want to make morning plans because my day off is supposed to be my day off. A day I don't have to share, but did feel guilty and made a coffee date with her for October 6.

I could tell in her voice, that she wanted me to offer myself up to her - like I did last year, when she came back from Costa Rica. When her life fell apart. I could tell, when she said " I am free for a week! " that she wanted me to drop everything - and make plans to see her.

But I can't. Not drinking has made me feel incredibly good, but I feel really tired. Brutally weary. My energy level starts to lag around 2pm and this weekend - I made no plans. If husband and I manage to take a few  walks, and make soup that will be wonderful. I don't even want to see my grown up children.

I am fresh out of support.

Pulling inwards, self-healing and all that.

Heather was also my big drinking trigger last summer - when she was shattered, and I said to Husband - bring home wine! And I fell off the wagon. Completely. Not this year.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Changing Clubs

Why did I start drinking again those other times? If it feels so good to be finished with the wine, then why would I start again? Three years ago I stopped for three months. From May to August. I felt incredible. I lost weight. I was free. What triggered me to start again?

Last year same thing. Stopped in May. Lasted around a month, until my friend and I were sitting on my deck, she was having a rough time with life, and I asked Husband to bring home some wine - because somehow the wine was going to help. Didn't help me.

I must be 100% on my guard for triggers. Friends. Stress. Boredom. That feeling you get when you are overtired, when you feel as though the world is out to get you and why can't I have that glass of wine? I have to always remember the reasons I stopped. Freedom. Money. Clarity. Happiness. Health. Today is day 16 and I have saved a minimum of $160. If I include Husband who has cut back 60% - I think it's at least a family savings of $225 in 16 days. That's a lot of cash.

Imagine a year without Wine. $3,650.00 - just from me. I think I can do it.

Changing from the Wine Club to the Sober Club. I used to hate it when I found one of those members. They make you feel uncomfortable about having a glass of wine, because you yourself know you will want more than one glass.

That's me. The boring one holding the glass of water.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Breaking Familial Patterns and Living Clean

If my parents were still alive, they would be coming up on their 76th wedding anniversary... brutal to add up those years. It's sad that they both died in 1995, my father at age 75 in April and my mother age 76 the following July.

When Eldest was a baby we lived in my parents basement - for a year - it was a lovely separate apartment, and most of our year there was great, but my mother would sometimes have a drinking bender and then things could be pretty horrific.

When Eldest was 3 months old, my parents had returned from the cottage one Sunday night, and my mother came down the stairs to see the baby. She was drunk, and I didn't want her to hold him. I asked her to leave, and go back upstairs. She was very upset, but did go.

She had a mild stroke that night. My father called me to come up and help her, because she could not take out her contacts... And us being stupid, and my father being rather in denial, did not take her to emergency until the next day.

Her stroke was mild and she did recover, but dementia was triggered, with a slippery-slope of deterioration. Mom would have been 68 then.

Fast forward to now.

Next January, Eldest Son and his Lovely Lu are having their first baby. My first grandchild. I will not be a Drunken Mimi. I will not be that grandparent that cannot babysit because of inebriation.

There are so many reasons to live clean.

Living, really.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Poisoning

This is my new sobriety blog. Blogging has been a big part of my life, probably since around the year 2000.

Wine has been a big part of my life from around the same time, intensely, and before then, tucked around my 4 pregnancies, and solidly planted in my teens.

My family is a drinking family. We have a full spectrum of functioning and non-functioning drinkers. The angry, the weepy, the silly the quiet, the pensive. I have come to learn that I am a high-functioning alcoholic. Never drunk, never offensive, seldom forgetful, just El with a wine glass in hand.

For the last few years I have dabbled with stopping. First, in 2013. Unemployed and broke, I simply had to stop. Husband did as well, and we stayed clean for nearly three months, until I found work and new co-workers - who liked to drink wine.

Again, I stopped in 2015 - and was clean for six weeks or so - until we met new friends who offered wine, and rather than saying no, I had a glass, then another.

I planned this time stopping on the Tuesday after Labour Day, the weekend that finishes summer to a point and the weekend after we visited relatives a few hours away, relatives who heavily drink. I planned for weeks my stopping date - September 6th.

And so I am on day 11. Happy Day 11. Happy that days 1 - 10 are behind me, and still full of resolution. I am extremely happy to be here on Day 11.

Aside from insomnia, and some irritability I have not had too many side effects. I remember my mother after a bender - 'sick' in bed. For days. The first time I quit I was very anxious. Deep anxiety. I didn't know what to drink and found myself wondering what did people drink in the evenings, if they didn't drink wine?

I finally chose herbal tea steeped with some honey, and chilled. I'd sip it out of a wine glass. This time around I am drinking herbal tea in a mug. My favourite Bengal Spice Tiger Tea.

The poisoning? That was on day 9. For my birthday, Husband and I went out for dinner to a Thai restaurant. He had a Thai beer, I had a 'special' iced tea. Completely non-alcoholic, but dressed up with some colouring and stuff. It tasted funky. I sipped some more. I set is aside.

Food poisoning. Poisoned by iced tea. I know it was the iced tea because we shared a meal, and he is fine.

So day 11 - I am fast-tracking weight loss - and still celebrating not drinking.